Choose Your Own Thanksgiving
It’s Monday morning. You’ve just woken up and realized that Thanksgiving is this week. In your morning fog before your first cup of coffee, you think, “What am I going to do for Thanksgiving?” Well, there’s always the old standby to go and visit your parents.
Yes, I’m going to my parent’s house – go to paragraph 2.
I’m close enough to drive to my parents but I’m not going – go to paragraph 3.
No, I’m not going to go my parents – go to paragraph 4.
2. Hooray! You are such a good son that your parents have bought you a coffee cup that says “World’s Greatest Son.” You win.
3. Are you kidding? What kind of son are you? Why don’t you just kick mud on your mother’s clothes even though she spent 40 hours in labor for you and cooked all your meals and…
Ok, Ok, Ok Mom, I’m coming home – go to paragraph 2.
No Mom, I’m not coming home – reread paragraph 3.
Mom, I don’t live in the basement anymore, leave me alone, I need my space – go to paragraph 4.
4. Your parents decided to take a romantic cruise this year through the Caribbean and promised to bring you home Carnival Cruises souvenir pop-tarts. You’re on your own. Did one of your friends say they were hosting a Thanksgiving party at their place?
Yes – go to paragraph 5.
No, my friends are probably doing the same thinking right now – go to paragraph 6.
5. Hooray! You remember that you agreed to bring pumpkin pie to your friend’s Thanksgiving shindig. Can you cook?
Yes, I’m an expert chef – go to paragraph 7.
I’m not sure what a pie dish looks like – go to paragraph 8.
6. You’re going to have to cook for yourself. The great thing is that you can invite all of your friends over and have a great time.
I always keep a frozen turkey in my freezer – go to paragraph 9.
I always keep a frozen ham in my freezer – go to paragraph 10.
Well, it looks like I need to go buy a turkey – go to paragraph 11.
7. As an expert chef, you’ve already selected your pumpkin pie recipe and planned on making the pie Wednesday night so it is nice and fresh for Thanksgiving. When your friends take a bite after the delicious meal, they gaze at you in wonder and think, “He is a Golden God.” You win.
8. You go to the grocery store on Wednesday and find they bake pumpkin pies for you. Score! Why were you worried on Monday morning again? After Thanksgiving dinner, your friends give you funny looks because after the gourmet meal, your grocery store pie tastes like cardboard. You wished you would have gone to a bakery like this one in Lenexa, KS. You lose.
9. Your girlfriend always thought you were a little strange for keeping a whole frozen turkey in your freezer but who’s laughing now? Since it takes 3-4 days to thaw a frozen turkey, you’re glad you remembered to think about Thanksgiving this morning. You take out your frozen turkey, put it in your refrigerator and relax until Wednesday when you start to think of your side dishes. Go to paragraph 12.
10. You are not serving ham for Thanksgiving. You’re going to use that for Christmas or possibly to slip a sedative to the noisy dogs next door. Return to paragraph 6.
11. Now it’s time to buy a turkey. Since you have your girlfriend and six other friends coming by and you want leftovers, you’ve looked at the calculation and realized you want a 16-pound turkey. Done and done.
Now you just have to figure out sides – go to paragraph 12.
Wait a second, I’m only going to cook for myself – go to paragraph 22.
12. You’re back at the grocery store wondering what kind of sides you’re going to serve.
I’m a traditionalist, I’m going to serve mashed potatoes, sausage dressing, and green beans – go to paragraph 13.
I’m going to have my friends bring sides – go to paragraph 14.
I’m going to use all of my culinary abilities and serve salami and Kraft singles sandwiches, scrambled eggs and Froot Loops with 2% milk – go to paragraph 15.
13. You grab potatoes, butter and cream for the mashed potatoes, all of the ingredients for sausage dressing, and green beans to be made with bacon instead of ham. After repeatedly patting yourself on the back for such great ideas, you go to sleep filled with pride, anxiously waiting for Thanksgiving morning. Go to paragraph 16.
14. Why the hell did you go back to the grocery store? Oh yeah, beer and wine. You grab a couple bottles of pinot noir to go with the turkey and a twelve of Mirror Pond Pale Ale and call it a night. Go to paragraph 16 for the next morning.
15. You really need to make sure you know what a turkey looks like, let alone how to cook it, because I think you haven’t spent time in the kitchen since you were 5. Are you sure you want to host Thanksgiving?
Yes, I love cooking Froot Loops – go to paragraph 16.
Maybe I’ll reconsider having friends bring sides – go to paragraph 14.
16. Since you’re planning to eat around 2 pm and your turkey is 16 pounds, you put in the turkey at 10 am. Now you start preparing your sides.
I’m a traditionalist – go to paragraph 17.
I’m still making Froot Loops – go to paragraph 18.
My friends are bringing sides – go to paragraph 19.
17. You start boiling the potatoes, mixing together the stuffing and putting together the green bean ingredients in a pan and before you know it you’re almost done and your friends are almost here. Go to paragraph 19.
18. You give each friend that arrives a plastic cup filled with milk and cereal. Your girlfriend throws your Froot Loops back in your face and breaks up with on the spot, muttering something about a toucan eating her baby brother. Your friends grab you before you can towel off and try to cheer you up by treating you to the Wal-Mart deli. You never took your turkey out of the oven and your house burned to the ground. You lose.
19. Your friends arrive and the house is now awash in the smell of turkey and a multitude of delicious sides. You chitchat for a while and then everyone starts to eye the TV.
I turn on the football games even though the Patriots will probably kill the Lions and the Saints will probably kill the Cowboys – go to paragraph 21.
I turn on my personal copy of “Gigli” and put it on a continuous loop – go to paragraph 20.
20. Your friends sit down to eat and then hear Jennifer Lopez say “It’s turkey time,” followed by “Gobble, gobble,” realize that she’s talking about cunnilingus with her Ben Affleck soaked vagina, throw up on the table and leave as quickly as possible. If you liked your friends, you lose. If you didn’t, you win!
21. Football, turkey and friends. It’s the best Thanksgiving ever. You win.
22. You forget cooking and just find the closest 24-hour truck stop and enjoy an all-you-can-eat Thanksgiving buffet. From now on, when you see brown gravy, you can’t help but think of CBs, antiseptic smells and overwhelming sadness. You win?
About Jason McClain Jason is an aspiring novelist, which means there is a lot of time to put off writing and watch baseball or go fly-fishing, hiking and traveling. By "a lot of time", Jason means "procrastination."